The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: The "Great Truth" about the "Lost Cause"
James W. Loewen
Most Americans hold basic misconceptions about the Confederacy, the Civil War, and the actions of subsequent neo-Confederates. For example, two thirds of Americans―including most history teachers―think the Confederate States seceded for “states’ rights.” This error persists because most have never read the key documents about the Confederacy.
These documents have always been there. When South Carolina seceded, it published “Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union.” The document actually opposes states’ rights. Its authors argue that Northern states were ignoring the rights of slave owners as identified by Congress and in the Constitution. Similarly, Mississippi’s “Declaration of the Immediate Causes …” says, “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery―the greatest material interest of the world.”
Later documents in this collection show how neo-Confederates obfuscated this truth, starting around 1890. The evidence also points to the centrality of race in neo-Confederate thought even today and to the continuing importance of neo-Confederate ideas in American political life. The 150th anniversary of secession and civil war provides a moment for all Americans to read these documents, properly set in context by award-winning sociologist and historian James W. Loewen and co-editor, Edward H. Sebesta, to put in perspective the mythology of the Old South.
Had resolved the issue of slavery. Slavery now seemed an idea whose time had passed. All other Western nations had already abolished the practice when the United States did so in 1865, except Brazil.3 No major political leaders suggested undoing the Thirteenth Amendment. With slavery over, some former owners were initially ambivalent about their former workers. Asked by a congressional committee on Reconstruction what Virginia should do with its African Americans, Robert E. Lee says, in.
Her in that cold spring of 1866, Scarlett realized what was facing her and the whole South. She might plan and scheme, she might work harder than her slaves had ever worked, she might succeed in overcoming all of her hardships, she might through dint of determination solve problems for which her earlier life had provided no training at all. “But for all her labor and sacrifice and resourcefulness, her small beginnings purchased at so great a cost might be snatched away from her at any minute.
Has long cherished her Confederate history and the great leaders who made sacrifices on her behalf; and Whereas: Among those who served the Confederacy were many African-Americans both free and slave who saw action in the Confederate armed forces in many combat roles. They also participated in the manufacture of products for the war effort, built naval ships, and provided military assistance and relief efforts; and Whereas: One such soldier who made a significant contribution to the state was.
Larger, others are smaller—but the greater and superior uniformly influences and controls the lesser and inferior within its sphere. If there is any fixed principle or law of nature it is this. In the races of men we find like differences in capacity and development. The negro is inferior to the white man; nature has made him so; observation and history, from the remotest times, establish the fact; and all attempts to make the inferior equal to the superior is but an effort to reverse the decrees.
Compromise, formed by our concessions, has been trampled under foot by your Northern confederates. All fraternity of feeling between the North and the South is lost, or has been converted to hate; and we, of the South, are at last driven together by the stern destiny which controls the existence of nations. Your bitter experience of the faithlessness and rapacity of your Northern confederates may have been necessary to evolve those great principles of free Government, upon which the liberties of.